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tv   [untitled]    December 23, 2011 6:01pm-6:31pm EST

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the value of transparency versus safety in the scientific community a federal advisory board has asked that certain research not be published for fear that it could be used as a biological weapon so as the global war on terror finally spread to science and why everybody is celebrating the extension of the payroll tax cut let's not forget that there is a lot out there that congress still hasn't done so artie's lauren lyster host of the capital account is going to join us to break down some of the long forgotten pieces of dog frank that still life dormant or have all that and more food and i could in a dose of happy hour but first take a look what the mainstream media has decided to miss. all right so after all the countdown clocks the endless back and forth it looks like it's finally over americans could enjoy their christmas weekend knowing of the payroll tax will be extended for two months that is. at any moment american workers may dream a bit easier just minutes after senators approved two month extension of the
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payroll tax cut members of the house are about to do the same the compromise took shape only yesterday the senate signed off on the two month payroll tax cut extension the senate passing the two month extension of the payroll tax house lawmakers meeting as we speak leaders were able to strike a deal yesterday afternoon into the evening this morning there's action on the legislative side president obama hopeful all year long extension will soon follow suit the president democrats in the senate and even many republicans wanted to be certain there would be no lapse no increase in the tax no lapse in benefits january first. are now had to give it to the mainstream media a little bit because even they couldn't ignore the fact that this payroll tax fight has been a ridiculous headache and a waste of time considering the fact that the payroll tax was only extended for two months so that means that it's all just going to start all over again after the holidays so thank you mainstream media for at least mentioning to americans for a brief second while you talk about this twenty four hours
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a day that you're actually just going to continue covering this story for the next few months because it's nowhere near over i think we all know that if this story's going to continue on for the next few months that means that we're going to hear a lot more about the partisan horse race and who won and who lost so yesterday it was the republicans who caved and the democrats who for once got to come out feeling like victors i mean let's face it that does not happen all that often especially not lately because democrats have become notorious for having absolutely no backbone and so this brings up another interesting point that ed schultz decided to highlight last night. since september we've done a lot better why well we have focused on the economy jobs and income inequality we came out you know he did finally for the tax on incomes over a million dollars. we came out for a jobs program and we said look even if it doesn't pass we're going to put it on the floor of the senate over and over and over again and here's what's happened
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people now believe that democrats are much better at helping the economy than republicans democrats this is the first time in thirty years when you ask the american people who is better at tax policy they prefer democrats to republicans. so really this just suddenly happened in september out of the blue completely unexpected with no explanation democrats for once had a message a simple a clear message which they never ever have and it was a message about inequality about what the american people need about corruption in washington that leads to other pet deals being attached other pieces of legislation because of the money the rules this entire system and i just wonder where they got this from it's such a mystery where have we heard that before oh i know how about occupy wall street how about the movement for the last three months has shown that there is a real wakening happening in this country that americans are fed up with they think of the system is rigged and not fair for all and they're sick of it of course
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a politician wouldn't want to give occupy wall street any credit for that but you think that that shelter the people at s n b c would have at least figured out i mean come on people do you remember what was going on before occupy wall street the battle over deficits over the debt ceiling occupy wall street has if nothing else at this point greatly succeeded in changing the conversation in this country making it about the issues that matter once again making it about us we the people and not what congress and their corporate financier's want the biggest issues to be and every mainstream media outlet has followed suit well almost everyone else was talking about the payroll tax what forty dollars is going to mean to americans fox news was talking about this. even marcus has its christmas book out for this year and it has something for everyone on your list if you've got the money from a seventy five thousand dollars genie bottle to a speedboat or maybe fountains a set of fountains for your backyard did you ever wonder who actually buys these fantasy gifts i know it's ridiculous but seriously our mainstream media is that
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stupid or fine i won't call them stupid they're that subservient to power to the establishment they refuse to give occupy wall street any credit they refuse to pay attention to the real messages that are being spread by americans and politicians are peddling they actually think that democrats somehow on their own just group air give me a break where they seriously miss. well the list of people against the anti-piracy bill sopa continues to grow yesterday the conservative think tank heritage expressed their opposition despite their history of siding with copyright protection in a statement the organization explained there has never been a government mandate that information would be withheld from search results imposing such a mandate would represent a first step down a classic slippery slope of government interference that is no clear stopping point
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and they also go on to reiterate a point that we've made several times on this show that limits placed on search engines is a violation of your first amendment rights and that there should not be draconian measures and they have no place like that on the internet so here it is joins a growing number of conservatives opposed to this legislation including congressman darrell issa. if you want to block hyperlinks remember a hyperlink is just a set of words the fact is that anyone could type in the hyperlink if you block it and you can't stop the printed word we can we have no constitutional basis the printed word. and even conservative blogger erick erickson who normally just irritates me is opposed to sopa this is a statement from his own blog where he said the following he said it is a totalitarian response to a bipartisan coalition of congress critters most who admit they have no freaking idea how the internet even works this battle is so important and is one of those
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rare fights where the left and right are united against congress that i suggest of the left and right unite and pledge to defeat in primaries every person named as a sponsor on h r three two six one the stop online piracy act so that's just the latest in a very long line of opposition including those from major tech companies like google facebook and even and now they're joined by go daddy that's right it's a huge flip flop for the company that originally came out supporting the measure but i think that we know why they've withdrawn their approval go daddy host several domains and those who own the domains weren't so happy with their stance on sopa so one owner took to reddit another site that would be threatened of sopa passes to call on those who are currently with go daddy to switch to a new company on december twenty ninth so we would have seriously hurt their business because these predators well they're one powerful community so something go daddy is clearly aware of now let me take a moment here to just go back to a point the ericsson made too he pointed out that there is bipartisan support
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against this bill and there also happens to be bipartisan support for so but to one of the most notable is d.n.c. chairwoman debbie wasserman schultz she's joined by several other democrats are throwing their support behind this bill and erickson is pledging to do everything in his power to defeat the republicans that favor sopa and calling on the left to do the exact same thing and you know what it pains me to say but i kind of i have to agree with him here it's time for voters and organizations on the left to stand up to hollywood big wigs and the politicians who put their votes up to sale to that those that are choosing to limit free speech or potentially potentially break the internet as we know it against all rhyme or reason need to be voted out of office period. and there's a new debate going on in the scientific community that's raising a lot of questions about transparency safety and biological weapons so let's start with the basics h five n one is a particular flu virus that breeds and spreads amongst birds fourteen years ago it emerged and there have been the rare occasions where humans have been infected
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leading to fatal results but it does not spread from person to person that is until now maybe two teams of researchers one of the netherlands and one of the university of wisconsin have found that can turn age five and one from a bird flu to a mammal flu it's a scientific breakthrough but a federal advisory board is asking for some of those results to be kept secret and not published out in the open they're afraid that if the research got into the wrong hands it could be used to create a biological weapon so what's more important here transparency or secrecy for the sake of safety joining me to discuss it is carl zimmer science writer and author of the book a planet of viruses carl thank you so much for joining us tonight and there any details here that need to be filled in that i left out you mentioned in some of your writing too that this is so far been carried out on ferrets do we know one hundred percent that it could also be something that spreads amongst human beings no we don't know and you present the reason the scientists study the flu and
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ferrets is because a fair biology when it comes to the flu is a lot like human biology so they get sick with viruses that make us sick if you were to give human flu to say mouse it wouldn't care but ferrets are vulnerable so something that can spread from ferret to ferret is definitely a concern because it might it might be able to spread from human to human fortunately we don't know that for sure yet but so already you know just a done lot of information this federal advisory board is asking for them not to publish the entire report and so you know i'm curious about that too if i kind of information gets put out there gets published at these researchers did in wisconsin . how easy is that to recreate. we don't really know the answer to that i mean there are two ways that you could create it so let's say someone gave you just the sequence for the genome for the virus and it is possible to actually synthesize that d.n.a. make make genes and just stick them in
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a cell and you start making viruses scientists in certain laboratories know how to do this and they do it quite regularly with other viruses we've been doing it for almost a decade now so you could do that or you could do it you could take this bird flu and you could just expose ferrets and from one ferret to another another and evolution might be able to end up producing a mammal flu so we don't know for sure how easy would be certainly making viruses from scratch is no easy thing but so in that case if we don't really know for sure how easy that might be do you think this federal advisory panel is right to be concerned anywhere where do you fall on this debate here. i think this is a really complex issue i mean i've spent the past couple days talking to a lot of leading scientists and honestly they're all over the board with this the board the actual group the federal advisory board who made this decision these are
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about a dozen of the country's leading scientists and they were unanimous in saying that this had to be controlled in terms of the information on the other hand there are a lot of leading scientists are saying this is a terrible day for science so it's you know we're going to really have to sift through all the issues here and figured out we've never really been in a situation like this before where where there is a virus that has suddenly come into being it's in a lab and we're not sure what to do about it scientifically there are very strong arguments on both sides i have to say so you could say that this really is unprecedented let's hear some of the arguments from both sides and in that sense i mean i think that as americans we all value transparency and transparency the fact that the research might be out there that's what helps scientists learn right that's what helps you build upon everyone else's research so it's really valuable and let's say that this did get out and then you needed a cure for this type of virus wouldn't you already have to have the research
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available to even try to cure it. yeah there there are a lot of you can actually undermine a lot of the reasons that have been given for. holding this information back for national security the fact is that you know this kind of information can get out one of the researchers said that he's already had to share the information with hundreds of his colleagues because there are lots of people who are involved either in the research itself or in the funding of it and you know information has a way of slipping around so trying to keep withhold it may be a kind of a lost battle and the fact is that you know this kind of information actually if we if it's lead out can be helpful in the sense that you can have lots of scientists working on on this flu and seeing whether indeed it is as bad as people thought and then maybe even designing vaccines against it now do
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you feel like this is you know there's some type of moral responsibility involved in this too that scientists should if they think that it might get into the hands you know do something about it let's hear what some of what some of the cons might be have we ever witnessed anything like what this eighty five and one virus might become a biological weapon of that strength i guess you could say. well it's incredibly important to appreciate just how dangerous this could be so in one thousand nine hundred there was a strain of flu called h one n one that spread around the world infected billions of people and at sesame that maybe fifty or one hundred million people died it was one of the century's great catastrophes that only had a mortality rate of about two percent now this bird flu h five n one has a mortality rate of around sixty percent. now if you got a virus that could spread around the world like one thousand nine hundred flu or
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even the swine flu two thousand and nine and was killing at a rate of sixty percent this would be unimaginably horrible and so you know this is this could be potentially really dangerous virus the flip side though is that this experiments going on in nature all the time and there are bird flu that are coming into humans the revolving one hasn't really pushed through and actually become a real human pathogen but really we have to be prepared for it and getting too obsessed with what happened in one or two laboratories may distract us from reality which is that we're going to be hit by flu again well cried just wondered you know in the way that people are reacting to this and you said that it this is unprecedented we never really dealt with anything like this before do you see this as a bit of the global war on terror this constant fear that we're being fed now seeping into scientific research. well certainly the.
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the concern has been fueled by the past decade of worries about terrorism we had here in the united states the the anthrax spores were sent through the mail no one quite knows how that happened who did it but clearly it was a demonstration of at least the terror that can be caused by by biological material and so that is why this board was set up by the federal government to start to deal with these issues because you know we have these incredible tools now to to study viruses and bacteria we can sequence their genomes it's not very expensive anymore it used to be impossible we now we can see the whole genome and now in fact we can synthesize the genomes too so while we're being concerned about terrorism we're also coming to grips with technology that is becoming incredibly inexpensive an incredibly powerful it's
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a very tricky situation we're now on stephanie and really interesting debate and something to watch carl thanks so much for joining us tonight thank you. i just have to show you the billions they spent on the g.s.a. worth it so based on if there's no way to get to the bottom of the waste after the break. good. to see the police corruption a good. test nobody seems to know. were never a pepper sprayed in the face but how the argument that they're being overly dramatic.
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you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then. some other part of it and realize that everything is. welcome to the big picture.
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welcome to the capital account i'm lauren lyster. well the european union has imposed tough new restrictions on the sale of drugs used to execute prisoners here in the u.s. his move which is likely to squeeze an already short supply across the atlantic is aimed at fighting capital punishment and archie's ivor better reports on why human rights groups say the export controls are step in the right direction. they've tried hanging electrocution and most recently a drug used to euthanize animals but now american jails will find it much harder to
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kill prisoners on death row the main supply line for its lethal injections has been cut off after the e.u. slaps new restrictions on drug exports i really think this will make a difference and we will see the effects of this this control order in the coming months that the the u.s. relies on european drugs for use in executions and without them they're going to be stuck and lives will be saved specific execution drugs aren't made in the e.u. but several american states have been importing sedatives instead drugs designed to help being used to hurt. exports of drugs like sodium thiopental will now be controlled to stop their use in a three part lethal cocktail the end of static was being used to put the condemned inmate to sleep as another drug paralyzed before the final heart stopper was administered without that initial numbing stage lethal injections are
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unconstitutional under u.s. law the usual supply for these drugs has been dwindling since the only u.s. manufacturer ceased production last year american prisons though found an alternative source right here in west london at this fairly unassuming driving school buildings also shared by dream farmer a british firm exporting british drugs the u.s. prisons to kill people the u.k. government soon found out and banned its use so american prisons searched elsewhere r.t. reported in may now some states have begun using pen to baba told a drug normally used to put pets to sleep that's never been tested for human executions its primary use for humans is to treat epilepsy but it has no pain killing properties many feel its use on death throes tantamount to torture this can cause excruciating pain if something goes wrong and because we have no test we cannot guarantee that nothing will get around to people at risk of not just being
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killed being tortured to death. following a report danish manufacturers imposed their own restrictions to prevent printed bottles misuse the new e.u. embargo covers eight barbiturates in total including painted barber told us stockpiles will eventually run dry but many fear it's only a matter of time before prisons try again with something else unfortunately the death merchants in the us can sometimes be creative in terms of what they put to use in order to put people to death and so i think what we need is a clause which said if other drugs should appear on the market and we discover that the u.s. is misusing those we can quickly have a quick procedure to add those to the list without in a way to have a year aside from lethal injection other methods like hanging and firing squad a still sanctioned in the u.s. but are now really used these new restrictions may not choke off the drug supply completely but it will certainly tighten the noose on america's controversial death
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penalty. by the bennett artsy london. well it's the holiday season and that means that millions of americans will be traveling over the next few days in fact i myself will be on a plane tomorrow to go see my family and that means that myself and all the other airline travelers are once again going to get to experience the joys of taking off our shoes choosing between radiation scanners or pat downs the verge on sexual assaults and basically being treated like a criminal every step of the way as your ideas examined a million times over and that all be courtesy of the t.s.a. which is taxpayer funded which means that really we're doing it to ourselves paying to keep ourselves safe but is any of it actually working if you ask the partner homeland security they're doing a fine job in a recent progress report released for two thousand and eleven this was listed under achievements in preventing terrorism and enhanced security so the t.s.a. is a fifty two thousand transportation security officers screed officers screen more than
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six hundred three million passengers and four hundred fifty airports across the country the t.s.a. discovered over one hundred twenty five thousand perhaps items at airport checkpoints so great but doesn't really sound all that impressive does it let's speak to somebody who's advised airlines who recently wrote in the c.d.c. sentinel that the t.s.a. is basically doing it all wrong join me to discuss this is ben brantley director at lyme advisors but i want to thank you so much for joining us tonight and according to your estimates we are talking you say that fifty six billion dollars has actually been spent on aviation security since nine eleven how do you come up with that figure. that figures whether it's put together by a couple members of the house who recently looked and. says well it's a pretty widely reported number and when you think about it that amounts to an average about five point six billion dollars a year just on aviation screening which when you think about how that relates to the expenditures on the intelligence community or. actions that could be taken against terrorism it seems like to the. folks in the field it seems like
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a rather massive misdirection of resort. as one gets before we get into what exactly you think the t.s.a. is doing wrong i have to ask you ben if you think that it should exist at all because i think that there is a really loud chorus of americans that feel like this agency is doing much and you know they have a very negative opinion against it well i would argue that it's not necessary that the two cities to be abolished just as much is a very heavily restructured part of the argument to try to lay in my article for the sentinel and this is after working in the industry for a couple years the issue is that a lot of the measures they take really do not address the direct threats as we all know t.s.a. was started after nine eleven which was attacked involved teams of terrorist hijacking aircraft using box cutters to take control of the plane and crashed into buildings. operating culture was very heavily ford by that and also never subsequent attempts to buy passengers to smuggle explosives on the planes and bring
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the aircraft down if you look at a lot of the city measures you know they do some work to try and mitigate threats against insiders they do service for airports but the vast majority of their expenditures are essentially trying to screen passengers coming to board aircraft in u.s. airports what do you think about able to be bringing in lev and when you make a pretty strong argument that's a major distraction of resources for example if you look at recent terrorist plots against aviation there was a nurse with two fifty three which was actually a passenger coming aboard with an explosive that funny of course did not originate in the united states came out of lego's went through amsterdam and then tried to detonate flying of the united states you also see such as the two thousand and one the cargo plot last year coming out of yemen that targeted at a number of cargo aircraft using fed action as you see other parts as well such as example richard karim who is in the employee british airways he was inside
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a work in the i.t. department he had been looking at strategies decisions that. trying to bring down their website and cause financial losses that way he had also been working with people on the ramp security employees over heathrow airport to try and smuggle in explosives that way and then to let me interrupt you here for a minute you know it seems like there are a lot of different alternatives in the sense that these people don't even necessarily have to go into the airport it could be somebody you know who's working there could be coming from another company or from the from another country so is there really a concrete solution what do you think is going to fix the t.s.a. if you want to restructure it and he said we as you said that really hits the nail right on the head the whole problem is there are very many many many angles of attack and t.s.a. is very heavily fixated on a very small number of those in terms of where they could go i think one of the most important to realize is in terms of stopping terror threats the aviation there's essentially two levels of threat there or sophisticated groups like al
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qaeda in the arabian peninsula which prosecuted a couple major plots using very specific it explosives and then there's the lone wolves those are basically the two big things you have to watch out for the lone wolves they're harder to detect but it's smaller scale attacks like a q a p. they're easier it's easier to evolve intelligence on them and act against them they also play for much bigger stakes. in terms of a kind of down three band like you're saying that we need more intelligence work done on this rather than telling grandma that she has to take her diaper often it needs to be inspected every step of the way right exactly and it's and that really is the fundamental is of having a good aviation security strategy is progress politician of intelligence for example using you know getting information on these groups operating abroad and using that to then you know put people on watch this target the leadership break up plots in the making that's probably the most effective way to actually stop these things in two thousand and ten plot that's exactly what stops by prior intelligence
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on these folks than a fortune after wrapping up because we got to hit a break here but i want to thank you for joining us tonight and i guess that's just going to make a lot. angry travelers that are realizing they're going to deal with the t.s.a. thanks so much i think you very much if there. are we're going to take a break but we will be right back. into the only military mechanisms to do the work to bring justice or accountability. i have every right to know what my government should do if you want to know why i pay taxes. but i would characterize obama as a charismatic version of american exceptionalism. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lengthly you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought.

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